Nationalist Leaders and Masculinity

Panel Code
Open Panel

“The nation” in many contexts is habitually framed as feminine whereas the “defender of the nation”, i.e. the military, is often considered synonymous with “masculine”. We would like to inquire, though, if and in what way these configurations change when we consider the nationalist leader, particularly of “new” nationalisms such as those, which have developed over the last five to ten years with the rise of populist parties in, e.g. Poland, Hungary, Germany, Austria, Greece, Italy, Spain, France, the UK, Brazil, the Philippines, and other countries.
We want to ask what kind of masculinities the leaders of nationalist parties in these countries embody, stage, perform and/or are ascribed. Is it possible to identify a pattern across nations, cultures and political affiliation or are there significant differences? If so, what determines these differences? Moreover, in how far do these masculinities correspond to, speak to or differ from other kinds of masculinities within those nations/cultures? Further, is there a trajectory in the development of these masculinities over time?
In addition, we are interested in the way female nationalist leaders use or avoid the concept of masculinity in order to enhance the efficacy of their leadership. Do they embrace certain aspects of masculinities available in their cultures or do they rather emphasise their femininity and contrast it to the masculinity of other political leaders?
Finally, how significant are the gender performances of these nationalist leaders for the political success of their nationalist parties?
We invite both theoretical and empirical papers that explore the nexus between political leadership, masculinity and nationalism. There is no national/cultural or methodological preference. We welcome comparative as well as individual case studies.


No accepted papers currently in this panel.